I have text inside text widgets in the footer widget areas.
With “Automatically add paragraphs” selected, the text appears small and centred in each footer widget area. This is how I want it to be and note that this is how it is at themesandco.com . Without “Automatically add paragraphs” selected, it appears larger and left-aligned.
[Already this looks like a bit of a bug, as I wouldn’t expect a paragraph setting to alter the rest of the formatting. But it’s no big deal as you simply select “Automatically add paragraphs” to get the nice formatting.]
A bigger problem arises, however, when you need to put more complex html in the footer widget areas. I have address, phone number and opening hours inside the text widgets and want to mark them up with schema.org microdata. For example, something like: